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Museum Treasures

The master apothecary's mortar (France, 1678)

This 17th century mortar was used by Charles Angibaud, apothecary to king Louis XIV of France and later king Charles II of England.

Master Apothecary's Mortar

Source: RPS Museum

This 17th century mortar belonged to Charles Angibaud, apothecary to the king of France

Standing 35cm high and weighing nearly 130kg, this huge mortar was presented by Louis XIV of France to his master apothecary, Charles Angibaud, in 1678. As a Huguenot, Angibaud later fled France to escape religious persecution, settling in England where he eventually became Master of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London, and apothecary to Charles II.

During its move to the Society’s current premises, the museum team gained an appreciation of how difficult it must have been to transport across the Channel, and the attachment Angibaud must have had to it to have done so.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204686

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